Local pupils join Children’s Takeover Challenge 2023 - Camden Rise

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News and blogs

Local pupils join Children’s Takeover Challenge 2023

Argyle Primary School with (L-R) CEO of Camden Learning Stephen Hall, Director of Education Commissioning and Inclusion Vikram Hansrani, Mayor Councillor Nazma Rahman, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families, Councillor Marcus Boyland and Cabinet Member for Young People and Culture, Councillor Sabrina Francis

Camden schoolchildren have been debating topics such as school meals, mental health, social media, the cost-of-living crisis, and Camden’s diverse community at our annual Takeover Challenge. 

The event took place in schools from 20 to 23 November, with local pupils then giving presentations at the Crowndale Centre on Friday 24 November to a panel of senior officers and councillors. Takeover Challenge offers a safe space for young people to express their opinions, challenge preconceptions on topics that matter to them and help shape the council’s policies. 

Discussions focused on questions such as the impact of social media on young people's lives, online safety issues and how adults can support children and young people online. Children and young people challenged the room by asking: “If adults find it hard to switch off and stop using their phones, imagine what it is like for children.”

Children and young people also discussed why diversity is important and how the borough can “unite people and speak up for diversity”. The children were asked what they enjoyed most about growing up in an area as diverse as Camden. To which the children answered: “Without diversity, Camden would be dull, bleak and lifeless.” 

Further topics included the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on mental health. Children and young people said that “almost half of children worry about the cost-of-living crisis” and the conversation centred on how the borough can further create safe spaces and support for families during this time.

Final debates included how can more young people get support and sustainable food provided at schools. The Mayor, Councillor Nazma Rahman, suggested children and young people help design the school menu.

Certificates of achievement were presented to pupils from Torriano, Brecknock, Kingsgate, Edith Neville and Argyle primary schools, as well as to secondary students from Parliament Hill School. 

Camden Youth Council members gave a presentation on healthy relationships on behalf of Acland Burghley School, as well as chairing the event.

Councillor Marcus Boyland, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families thanked everyone in his closing speech and promised to act on the children’s ideas and feedback.

•    Find out more information on how to get involved in Camden Youth Council.
•    Visit youth clubs and projects to find out more about youth activities and play in Camden.